Zain has introduced one of the most progressive human resources policies in the Middle East region, providing new mothers with four months of paid maternity leave, with a flexible schedule for returning to work.
The new leave policy follows the creation of a chief inclusion and diversity officer position, to help drive empowerment initiatives that define, enhance and continue to cultivate a more equal work environment.
The introduction of flexible working models has also been designed including six-hour work weeks for mothers with children up to four years old, and an optional compressed working week enabling working mothers to work more hours over a compressed week for an extra day off.
The announcement follows the hosting of the second annual Gender Diversity (WE) conference held in Kuwait in November 2018. There is also a goal of increasing female leadership positions within Zain from 14.5% to 25% by 2020, and evolving towards a gender diverse workforce.
Since Zain’s WE initiative was officially launched in November 2017, accomplishments have included:
• Female leadership, director and above increasing from 14.5% to 15.5% in one year.
• Female recruitment growing from 21% of total recruitment to 29%.
• The number of women at chief level increasing from 6 to 11.
• 33 high-potential female leaders identified to form the Centred Leaders programme.
• 61 Women Empowerment Ambassadors onboarded and tasked with action planning.
• Zain signing up to the UN Women Empowerment Principles and communicating this to all 6,000 employees.
• Introducing a Women Empowerment communications app, with 300 employees already using it.
• Women’s Empowerment embedded into the board of director’s agenda and placed on CEO Scorecards.
• Two talented women sponsored to attend MBA programmes at ESADE, Barcelona.